Imaan Hammam rides the NYC subway for Moschino

Egyptian-Moroccan model Imaan Hammam opened and closed the Moschino Pre-Fall 2020 show. AFP
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Updated 11 December 2019

Imaan Hammam rides the NYC subway for Moschino

  • Moschino's first catwalk show in New York took place at the Transit Museum
  • Egyptian-Moroccan model Imaan Hammam opened and closed the subway-inspired runway

DUBAI: For Moschino’s first catwalk show in New York — the brand typically shows in Milan — creative director Jeremy Scott chose to present the Italian label’s pre-fall 2020 collection at New York’s Transit Museum, with oversized Moschino Metrocards as the show invitations.

Show-goers were provided a car and a seat number within the Downtown institution housing artefacts of commuter systems, which is located two miles from Pratt University where Scott studied, and they buckled in for a show that was certainly a ride.

The runway show’s soundtrack opened with the familiar screeching of a train pulling in followed by the recording “Stand clear of the closing doors, please,” before hip-hop music began blasting through the speakers.

Opening the show was Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam, who strutted down the museum’s platform through two rows of vintage subway cars. The first look of the collection was a cozy, grey tracksuit boasting oversized zippers that was paired with a fur stole, piles of gold chains and the quintessential New York footwear, Timberland boots.

 The Netherlands-bred beauty also closed the show, wearing a slinky, plunging gown that was dripping with embellishments. Naturally, the eveningwear was accessorized with an oversized Moschino boombox.

The 23-year-old joined the likes of supermodels Winnie Harlow, Yasmin Wijnaldum, Joan Smalls and Halima Aden, who all strode down Scott’s subway-runway in front of a star-studded front row that included American singer Kacey Musgraves, “Euphoria” star Storm Reid and “Riverdale” actress Madelaine Petsch. Each catwalk model sported temporary ink crafted by celebrity tattoo artist Jonboy.

Halima Aden donned a graphic, white suit covered in illustrations and an oversized ball-cap over her hijab. AFP

For her part, Somali-American model Aden, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, donned a graphic, white suit covered in illustrations and an oversized ball-cap over her hijab.

According to the show notes, Moschino’s pre-fall 2020 collection is meant to hit all the stylistic nuances of the Big Apple. This resulted in a lineup of stacked, nameplate gold chains, oversized baseball caps, XXL gold watches, platform boots that laced up the leg, vibrant windbreakers and beaded eveningwear that’s sure to costume Scott’s loyal celebrity clients such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj on red carpets in the months to come. 

Bahraini singer Mo Zowayed: ‘I’m not the sad and tortured type’

Mo Zowayed started singing when he was about 25. (Supplied)
Updated 05 June 2020

Bahraini singer Mo Zowayed: ‘I’m not the sad and tortured type’

  • The Bahraini singer-songwriter discusses his latest album and keeping busy in lockdown


MANAMA: Mo Zowayed’s email signature bills him as “Singer. Songwriter. Sleeper.” But the sleeping part of his repertoire is clearly not top of the 31-year-old Bahraini’s agenda.

Even in lockdown he’s busy, having recently taken part in an online concert to raise funds for Bahrain Animal Rescue Centre. (“I don’t know what life would be like without dogs and I’d rather not find out,” he says.) There’s another scheduled for the end of May. 

He’s also just gone live with his “Viola Sessions” — a series of five original tunes from his latest album,  “That Good Love,” released in November, captured at a local club — and he’s performing Instagram Live sessions every Saturday afternoon, besides writing a bunch of new material.

His dad is an oud player and his grandfather Mohamed is a respected folk singer. (Supplied)

It’s no surprise Zowayed ended up as a musician. His dad, Yusuf, is an oud player and his grandfather Mohamed is a respected folk singer. His own musical journey, though, began with a spot of bribery. 

“I started when I was 13. I struggled a bit in seventh grade with my math grades. My parents agreed to buy me a guitar if I managed to turn my grades around,” he says. “It was tough, but I did it. I got the guitar.” He’s now an accomplished player of several instruments, including mandolin, banjo, trumpet, ukulele and harmonica.

He didn’t start singing until he was about 25, though. He cites acoustic artists including Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Ben Harper as major influences. “I just loved the way that they could express themselves with just a guitar and (vocals). So, I started practicing like crazy,” he says. 

His own musical journey, though, began with a spot of bribery. (Supplied)

Unlike many regional musicians, he was always set on writing and performing his own material, rather than covers. “I’m still surprised when I meet a good musician who doesn’t write their own stuff,” he says. “For me, it’s the most enjoyable part — there’s no feeling like performing a song you’ve written and having some of the audience singing along.”

Zowayed quickly established himself on the Bahrain music scene. “I started by accepting every single gig. I played everywhere — every little dingy venue. There were some well-known bands in Bahrain, but they played a couple shows a year, tops. I just wanted to put myself out there, and I was one of very few people doing that. What makes me happy is that almost every band in Bahrain is doing that now. We’ve got a community of working musicians who are on stage all the time. I love seeing that.”

His work ethic and determination eventually landed him an American tour — something few independent musicians from the Middle East manage to achieve. “I spent months emailing, calling and messaging venues in the US. I must have contacted over 100 venues and festivals. I didn’t give up, even after 50 rejections — no exaggeration. I just kept trying.

He cites acoustic artist Ben Harper as a major influence. (AFP)

“Eventually I was offered a spot at Farmfest in Michigan. That gave me the motivation to keep trying to book shows. We played in Colorado, Michigan, Iowa, Nashville, Alabama and Ohio. It was the most surreal time.”

From there, Zowayed and his “incredible band” The Moonshiners, got offered a support slot for UK star Jools Holland at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall in 2017. “I just can’t overstate how magical that night was,” he says. In December last year, he and The Moonshiners were back on tour with Holland and played several shows of their own in the UK to support the release of “The Good Love.”

He cites acoustic artist Jason Mraz as a major influence. (AFP)

That album has evolved from the folky roots of Zowayed’s debut EP “New York Times,” partly because he’s playing an electric guitar, but he describes it as a natural progression. 

“I really wanted to make an upbeat record, because that’s the kind of music I’m into these days. I’m a pretty upbeat guy,” he says. “I’m not the sad and tortured type, and I’ve realized that’s okay, I don’t need to be.  As soon as I embraced that, the songs started pouring out. The result is an album that gets me excited every time I hear it.” 

Zowayed’s goal is to be a touring musician, and he recognizes that that could mean leaving the GCC. “It’s simply not possible in the Middle East when it comes to non-Arabic music,” he says. 

But his local fans don’t need to worry just yet. “I’m on a mission to put out as much music and as many videos as I can and play as many shows as possible,” he says. “And I hope to see everyone at a live show once we kick this virus in the behind.”